February 1889

Friday, February 1, 1889

Windy. Mother made nine apple pies. I ironed colored clothes, pared apple to dry.
Went down to Mr. Wheelers this P.M. found him quite comfortable.
Boys broke rode on to Walnut Hill and drew down one load.
Conductor Smiths wife’s mother (Mrs. Chase) is to be buried today.

Saturday, February 2, 1889

Pleasant and cold. Mother made bread and two kinds of cake. I finished ironing clothes that had dried and did the “general” sweeping all around the house. Frank and Pease gone to the village this eve.

Sunday, February 3, 1889
Pleasant. We all went to church. Prescott and Pease walked. Mr. Snyder’s subject was Patience think he preached specially for my benefit.
Frank and Pease went down at night had a very interesting meeting.
Warner Nash and young Bisbee rose for prayers.

Monday, February 4, 1889
Very cold – 5⁰ above 0. Frank and Pease at work on Walnut Hill getting out wood. Mother did not wash she has not felt very good. I made yeast – pared apples today & she ironed the clothes left over from last week. Cut out sleeves to my red dress.

Tuesday, February 5, 1889
Cloudy all day – raining hard tonight. Mother did the washing.

Wednesday, February 6, 1889
Sudden change during the night – snow squalls and wind. Merc. down to 5⁰ above 0. Very windy tonight. Mother made bread I pared apples to dry. Children did not go to school consequently they have been quite restive in doors all day.
Could not accomplish much today too stormy – Pease and F. are in a very dangerous place at work but they drew out 8 loads today and drew two loads down to the house.

Thursday, February 7, 1889
Very windy and rough. Ironed colored clothes. Frank went to the village tonight. We played author.


The Game of Authors was first published in 1861 by G.M. Whipple & A. A. Smith of Salem, Massachusetts. According to wikipedia: “The deck of cards consists of eleven sets of four cards each representing the works of eleven famous authors. The object of the game is to form complete sets of the four cards comprising the works of a particular author. The winner is the player with the most sets.”

Original deck contained the following authors: Louisa May Alcott, James Fenimore Cooper, Charles Dickens, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Washington Irving, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Sir Walter Scott, William Shakespeare, Robert Louis Stevenson, Lord Tennyson, Mark Twain, John Greenleaf Whittier.

I knew all the authors except for the last one. John Greenleaf Whittier was a Quaker abolitionist poet from Massachusetts.

Friday, February 8, 1889
More pleasant not quite as cold. Children went to school today but Mattie came home with a hard hard head ache and cold.
Mother made ginger bread. Ironed a little etc.

Saturday, February 9, 1889
More mild today. Boys finished getting the wood and logs from off the hill. Mother made six apple pies, 6 loaves of bread & baked beans. I “brushed up” all around the house made a little butter, cleaned lamps, etc. ironed fine shirts and collars this P.M. Mrs. Cooper spent the P.M. and stayed to tea.

Sunday, February 10, 1889
Pleasant but quite cold. We went to ch. except Mattie she was not able to go.
Mr. Snyder preached an excellent sermon from Mark 4. 11 & 12. We had the largest attendance in S.S. that has been in a long time. One new class of middle aged ladies with Mrs. E. Graves for a teacher.
Pease stayed down to the M. meeting then went again with Frank in the eve. I have had sick headache today.

Monday, February 11, 1889
Clouds and sunshine. Mother has done the wash. Pease’s father and brother came from So. Worthington this morn. Arrived here just as we had finished breakfast. Howard went with them to Northampton and returned this P.M.
Frank went to the village this morn and returned with a telegram calling him to N.Y. Grandpa carried him right back to catch the 10 o’c train. I went down to Mr. Wheeler’s this P.M. Written postal to mother, Aunt S., Miss Prouty and Mrs. Geckler.
Rec’d cab. photo from Aunt S. came in a letter – she expects to go to Minn. next April.
Mattie has been better today – Emma is down today.

Tuesday, February 12, 1889
Emma not quite as well. Cold and pleasant. Ironed colored clothes. Emma was 7 years old today but she was not able to celebrate. I gave her a lace collar. Susie sick at stomach this P.M.

Wednesday, February 13, 1889
Quite cold and windy. Prescott has to go to school alone. Pease chopping over west. Made apple sauce & pared apples to dry.

Thursday, February 14, 1889
Pleasant not quite as cold or windy. Frank came home to breakfast. He has been down to N.J. buying squashes. Took the 10 o’c train for Wethersfield Conn. to buy more. Does not expect to get home again until Sat. night. I could not do much but make the children comfortable. Ironed white clothes etc. Mother went down to see Mr. Wheeler this P.M. carried down some peaches and cake. He seemed very much pleased to have her come.
I am at work on a “turkey red” (tea-gown) that I cut out last fall. Frank and I went to see John Tilton and Sarah Page married 12 years ago today. They made a large wedding – invited both old and young from all about the town.
Pease been drawing logs & sawing wood for Mr. Wheeler.

Friday, February 15, 1889
A beautiful day. Mattie went to school with Prescott today. Emma is better, but Prescott is very hoarse tonight. Susie seems to be getting over her cold nicely.
Swept all the chambers thoroughly this morn. Pease went to village & drew logs from down west. We are reading “His Sombre Rivals” (By E. P. Roe who died last year).


“His Sombre Rivals” by Edward Payson Roe was a novel set during the Civil War, published in 1883.

Saturday, February 16, 1889

Very pleasant until night when it commenced raining. Frank came home on the last train. Mr. Chas. Geckler came with him – to comfort Mr. Wheeler.
Mother made two kinds of cake, ginger bread and bread.

Sunday, February 17, 1889
Clouds and sunshine and rain. Mr. Pease went down to church morning and evening.
Mr. G. spent the day down to Mr. W’s.
The folks have “talked me off” to Boston so I expect to get ready in the morn.
I found this little bit that interested me.
“A calm, trustful hope in the Lord Jesus Christ is the best preventative on earth of mental disorder.” Pain may rack thy wanting frame, health desert thy couch forever. Faith still burns with deathless flame, God forsakes his children never.”

Monday, February 18, 1889
We started. (Frank, Susie and I) for Boston in a driving snowstorm – changed cars in Northampton and Springfield, then took an express train for Boston. We arrived there soon after three o’clock. Gave Marion and mother a fine little surprise. M. said where under the sun did you come from!! We had room a no. 41 Worcester St. and took our meals there with Marion.

Tuesday, February 19, 1889                               
I stayed there and did some sewing and took care of Susie while mother went out to Dedham to visit Philomelia Hunt an old maiden lady a cousin of Grandma Snow’s. She is sister of Hiram Holmes’s first wife.

Tues. P.M.          Uncle J.P. came and took Susie out for a ride on the horse cars. We went way out to the “back bay” and round to Worcester St. via a different route. He took us in to the “Crawford House” to get our tea. We stopped in to a shoe store and bought a pair of shoes for Susie. We found Mr. Hiland waiting to see us. Mother had returned and Frank came back from Hampton N.H. during the evening and we had a fine visit. Marion and Jamie and Uncle were there also Mr. Hopkins from the Cape.

I found a mention of Philomena Hunt of Dedham in a book titled Domestic Missions of the Protestant Episcopal Church, where it was recorded that she donated $1 to the American Church Building Fund Commission in 1894 and $10 to the general missions fund. For the latter, this text precedes the list of donation sums:

“Offerings are asked to sustain missions in eighteen missionary jurisdictions and thirty-five dioceses, including missions to the Indians and to the Colored People in our land, as well as missions in China, Japan, Africa, Haiti and Greece – to pay the salaries of twenty-one Bishops and stipends to 1,300 missionary workers, and to support schools, hospitals and orphanages.”
Philomena Hunt also apparently wrote poetry, and a poem of hers is in the Harris Collection of American Poetry and Plays at Brown University: “The babe that sleeps in Jesus, and The babe’s plea, to her doubting parents, for the resurrection of the body”. The description of the collection says that it includes ephemera and occasional poetry, and I wonder if this poem was written for a child’s funeral. She published the poem in 1879 through a local press.
Uncle J.P. is Joseph Prescott Snow, father of Marion (Snow) MacBride.
According to this website, “A horse car is a horse- or mule-drawn transit vehicle which runs on rails.” Boston’s first horse-car line was started in 1856 and continued in use through the rest of the 19th century. 1888 saw the introduction of the electric streetcar in Boston. See a picture of a Boston horse car here.
The Crawford House was a well-known and large hotel and restaurant in downtown Boston. It was demolished in 1962.

Wednesday, February 20, 1889 through Monday, February 25, 1889

Aunt R. would have been 87 yrs. old if she had lived until today. Mother was sick all night Tues. night and all day Wed. I stayed with her until Thurs. noon then we both started for West Boylston after going into R.H. Whites store. Uncle J.P. met us at station and saw us safely aboard the cars. Jamie stayed in town with his mother as he was not feeling very well.

We found Mr. Parker waiting for us at the station. They live ½ mile out. Willie Parker’s wife and two children are living there – we had good visit and left Friday P.M. Mother came to Northampton and I to Springfield. I had to change cars in Ware and Palmer – the ride was a long one as the trains on the Mass. Central stop at so many stations. Susie and I waited in the depot for Mr. Geckler – but we finally took a hack and went down to the house. He came soon after we did. Fri. night and Sat. were very cold and windy. Frank did not come so we did not have to go home in the cold.

F. came up from N.Y. on the night train – so he went to the “Cooley House” and went to bed, then came down to Mr. Geckler’s soon after 10 o’c.

Sat.P.M. I went down st. and called on Mrs. Coleman Dawes – then went down to Kinsmans and bought Susie a red plush bonnet and some buttons for my turkey red wrapper.

Mon. morning snow was falling quite rapidly but it cleared off before we were ready to start. We took the 9-5 train for Northampton had to wait there 40 minutes then took the cars for home. Found Grandpa waiting at the depot. Pease went down for us Sat. night and had a cold ride for nothing.


R.H. White’s was a large department store in downtown Boston. For more information, see this blog. R.H. White’s added suburban locations that outlasted the flagship store, which closed in 1957.

Willie Parker may be the same Mr. Parker that was the minister at Emma’s church in Williamsburg when she joined the church. And this 1898 photograph from the Massachusetts Metropolitan Water Works Photograph Collection may show the Parker’s West Boylston home that Emma and her family visited.

Monday, February 25, 1889

We spent most of the day visiting – Emma and Henry had been sick since Thurs. consequently mother is nearly tired out.

Mother reached here and Father and Arthur came over after her last Saturday. Frank went to the village this P.M. to see to his apples. Mr. Utley here this eve. – he had been to town and could hardly go straight.

Tuesday, February 26, 1889    

Pleasant. I picked up my things, made apple sauce etc. etc. tried to give mother a chance to rest a little.
Frank tried to load a car with apples but they have decayed too much to send on.

Wednesday, February 27, 1889

Snowed all day. Mother did the washing and made bread.Frank went to Ashfield and Conway went to mothers.Pease has been drawing logs to mill and timber home.I made Mattie a flannel shirt (or undervest or wrapper) wrote a letter to Cousin Mattie and card to “Aunt” Libbie.

Thursday, February 28, 1889

Cleared off before night. Frank started for Cummington this morning. Mother made doughnuts and I fixed apples for mince pies and stirred cream. Pease and Prescott went down to Mr. Wheeler’s tonight to cut up some wood – he gave them some of his fancy carvings.

Prescott went to the village with Pease twice with load of logs.